Regulatory activity was once again slow, with just $50 million in costs. There were more than a quarter-million new paperwork burden hours, however. An EPA proposal regulating mercury in dental offices and a final rule amending direct loan requirements led the week.
Yesterday Secretary Burwell of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced her intention to spend nearly $1billion ($840 million) over the next four years on the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative. This is notable not for the money — the Obama Administration is the gold standard in spending — but rather its stated objective: "to help clinicians achieve large-scale health transformation.
As the mid-term election nears, there has been a great deal of speculation about the policy outlook in the event that Republicans take control of the Senate. Irrespective of the political balance in Congress, President Obama will still control the executive branch for the next two years, which precludes enactment of any policy measures that run too contrary to the president’s preferences.
Despite the public outcry last spring, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has once again issued guidance that could create serious risks in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. Instead of burying changes in a 1,000 page proposed rule, CMS has issued draft sub-regulatory, informal guidance that impacts the stakeholders in the Medicare Part D program.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently began the contracting process; bids to supply it with card stock for work permits and green cards over the next five years. This routine contract bid raised red flags, leading to speculation that President Obama is planning an aggressive executive action on immigration that is massive and unprecedented in scope.
After accounting for exemptions, AAF estimates that 5.2 million people will be subject to the individual mandate penalty for being uninsured in 2014 and will pay a total of $5.8 billion in additional taxes.
Economic recovery following the Great Recession has been mediocre at best. However, states that lead in energy production have performed much better throughout the recovery than those that import the majority of their energy from other states. AAF’s research finds that since 2009, major energy producing states have:
Double the rate of income growth than energy importers, Over double the rate of job growth than energy importers, and Robust housing markets, with faster price appreciation and more stable home construction than energy importers.
Monday New York Fed President William Dudley laid down the law arguing that large financial institutions have continued ethical problem and remain under public suspicion years after the financial crisis. The bottom line was hard-hitting:
We had a couple of readers suggest tackling how to reform the burdensome regulatory system. It’s a good question, with two possible strategies for an answer. The first imagines rewinding the clock to 1776 and re-imagining the constitutional Legislative-Judicial-Executive mix. That might make a good novel, but I’ll follow the second branch; what could get done in the foreseeable future?
On November 15th, 2014 healthcare.gov—established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—will launch an online portal for the Small Business Health Options Program, referred to as the SHOP exchange.